St Andrew’s College pupils Brendan Mouritzen and Daniel Zahn have both represented the South African Schools Rowing Union on tour to the United Kingdom over the last two weeks.
Having trained together over the Easter holidays at Roodeplaat, in Pretoria, the boys competed at both Gauteng Senior Championships and the South African National Championships in preparation for the tour. There, they posted exceptional times over the two kilometres event, qualifying for the final of Men’s A Coxless Pairs racing alongside the best and brightest talent South Africa has to offer.
Having departed on 2 May, the boys were based on Dorney Lake, the scene of the seismic South African Olympic victory in the Lightweight Coxless Four in 2012. The grandeur of the scene certainly contributed to the success of the first round of races; in the baking sun Mouritzen and Zahn took 2nd place to St Paul’s School, London, in the final of the U16 Coxed Fours and were the fastest junior Coxless Pair of the day.
In the second round of racing on the following weekend, the boys moved to Bedford to race a classic knockout style event in the centre of the town. Braving the English drizzle, Mouritzen and Zahn joined a combined crew featuring some of the finest U16 oarsmen in South Africa. They dispatched Radley College easily in the first round but fell foul of Norwich School in the second round a by a margin of only one foot.
In their spare time, the boys took time to enjoy Oxford, Windsor, Cambridge as well as experiencing tours around Oxford and Cambridge University Boathouses and meeting the oarsmen from the competing Blue Boats. They returned to school on 15 May after touring central London.
Together they represented their school and their country with great distinction and sportsmanship.